Alzheimers - Does loss of hearing occur ?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by PeterMD, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. PeterMD

    PeterMD Registered User

    Jan 1, 2016
    My mother's hearing has almost went if just made GP appt. Is this due to Alzheimer's ?
  2. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    I don't know if loss of hearing comes with Alzheimer's.

    What I can tell you is that before my husband was properly diagnosed I was convinced that he had hearing problems and sent him off to be tested.

    Later, as the disease progressed, I came to realise that the 'not hearing' was actually a strategy he had developed in order to play for a little more time while he gathered his responses or thoughts.
  3. jan.s

    jan.s Registered User

    Sep 20, 2011
    #3 jan.s, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  4. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    eastern USA
    My mother's hearing has diminished, it seems, but my view of it is that she says she doesn't hear (and she does turn her head as if to hear better), but really it's that she wants me to speak more clearly and slowly, so she has time to see if she is understanding what I am saying. I think it's more not knowing the words any longer, on other words, than it is a hearing problem.

    She is in a very late stage now, not ambulatory, not quite end phase, but reaching it.
  5. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    This has most definitely happened with my aunt. At the memory clinic, she positively avoided difficult questions by making out she was completely deaf for some of the questions!

    At the time, I thought she was just being crafty and playing for time. Possibly there is something more complex going on and it just manifests itself in this way?
  6. Clive T

    Clive T Registered User

    May 4, 2015
    #6 Clive T, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    Our mum certainly had hearing problems a few years before Alzheimer's kicked in. Her hearing has naturally got worse over the past couple of years but I'm not sure that it's always that which causes the constant need for repetition of almost everything we say - I think she simply has problems comprehending anything.

    I've noticed that she always jumps whenever there's a knock, or if a door shuts, or if I bash plates about in the kitchen. She can hear sounds, but can't understand most of them. Same with her vision; I was becoming convinced that she was starting to lose her sight. She would often ask where I was even when I was sat next to her, but a simple "follow my finger" test from her GP didn't show any problems.

    I think JanS is right, it's a processing fault. The brain is such a treacherous thing.

    It can be useful. I can swear to my heart's content.
  7. Rodelinda

    Rodelinda Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    I agree with CliveT. My mother's hearing was deteriorating for several years before her dementia diagnosis. But in the year or so leading up to that we began to realise her non hearing was a combination of the hearing difficulty and cognition problems. As her dementia has taken hold this has become much worse and it is clear that the lack of comprehension is now a larger element of the problems. I've found the tips on communication on the site really helpful but still find it frustrating - and think just how difficult it must be for her. But we get along and get on with things. One thing that might be worth having checked regularly is whether her ears are blocked with wax; having them cleared makes a big difference to my mother. Good luck. Sue
  8. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    I don't know if anything here will help the OP, but can't hurt to have a look:

    I've heard from others here on TP that checking for wax build-up, and having that taken care of, can be helpful.

    My mother, 73 and with Alzheimer's, does not have any hearing loss (her hearing is much better than mine!) but definitely has trouble processing what she hears, sometimes. I assume this is the dementia but it's hard to know. She sometimes creates very elaborate stories/confabulations to "explain" what she is hearing!
  9. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    In my experience there is a definite loss of listening if not an actual loss of hearing.
  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    I would agree with this. My mum is almost 90 and she has had hearing loss for some years. However, it is obvious that she simply does not understand what I am saying and I don't think that is down to hearing as much as comprehension.

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